The Haltwhistle Partnership is a partnership of local people, many of whom represent local organisations or groups. It is a development trust, a company limited by guarantee and a registered charity. It was established in 1993 and is governed by a board of trustees who oversee the strategic direction of the organisation. Over the years it has built strong links with many organisations within the town, county and region.

The Partnership exists to benefit local people. It serves as a local activist - lobbying for town infrastructure and investment, as well as delivering and driving projects of its own. 

  • What is the Haltwhistle Partnership?
  • Why and When was the Haltwhistle Partnership formed?
  • Who is in the Haltwhistle Partnership?
  • What does the Haltwhistle Partnership do?
  • Does the Haltwhistle Partnership have a Vision?
  • What are the Haltwhistle Partnership's Objectives?
  • What is the structure of the Haltwhistle Partnership?
  • Does the Haltwhistle Partnership have a formal constitution?
  • Does the Haltwhistle Partnership have a strategy and a plan of action?
  • How does the Haltwhistle Partnership decide its priorities?
  • Does the Haltwhistle Partnership have dedicated resources?
  • What has the Partnership achieved?

      What is the Haltwhistle Partnership

      The Haltwhistle Partnership brings together everyone with an interest in the well being of the Haltwhistle area and its communities. We work in an integrated way with the public, private and voluntary sectors and local communities to meet the needs of local people.

      The Haltwhistle Partnership will strive to ensure that the area it serves is and remains a sustainable community. When there are different interests and competing priorities over suggested activities then proposals will be measured against the following principles to help reach the best decisions.

      Our communities should be:

      • Active, Inclusive and safe – Fair, tolerant and cohesive with strong local culture and other shared community activities
      • Well Run – with effective and inclusive participation, representation and leadership.
      • Environmentally sensitive – providing places for people to live that are considerate of the environment.
      • Well connected – with good transport services and communication linking people to jobs, schools, health and other services.
      • Thriving – with a flourishing and diverse local economy.
      • Well served – with public, private, community and voluntary services that are appropriate to people’s needs and accessible to all.
      • Fair for everyone – including those in other communities, now and in the future.

      Why and When was the Haltwhistle Partnership formed?

      The Partnership came about as a result of a Civic Trust study in 1993. Haltwhistle was chosen for this study because there were concerns at that stage about its long term sustainability and the damaging effect this could have on the built environment of the High Street as there were a number of key buildings falling into disrepair. The study involved the public, private and voluntary sectors and local communities and produced an Action Plan with a number of recommendations. The first of which was that a community partnership should be formed to drive the programme of activities in the report.

      The Partnership then became legally established by becoming a Charity and a Company Limited by Guarantee in February 1997.

      Who is in the Haltwhistle Partnership?

      Haltwhistle Partnership list of Trustees as at December 2023:

      Julie Gibbon (Chairman)

      Andy Saunders (Treasurer)

      Alex Kinsey

      Annette McGlade

      John Scott

      Alan Sharp

      Company Secretary: Maureen Lawrie

On a rota basis a third of the Board of Trustees resign at each AGM. Those resigining are allowed to stand for re-election.

What does the Haltwhistle Partnership do?

The Partnership seeks to manage change for the benefit of local people. Change is inevitable, it will happen whether we want it to or not. We can either let it happen to us or we can be proactive, and try to manage it so the opportunities and benefits are maximised, the risks and threats minimised.

We work with the public, private and voluntary sectors and local communities to identify the issues that change has brought/will bring and what needs to happen to ensure a good quality of life for local people.

The Partnership works in two ways:

  • Advocacy: The partnership has representation from a wide range of organisations. If some of the identified activity is the remit of an existing body then we will work with them to bring that service/facility to the area
  • Delivery: where there is no other organisation to do the work we will find the funding and do it ourselves.

Does the Haltwhistle Partnership have a Vision?


“The aim of the Haltwhistle Partnership is to strive for a vibrant and sustainable community by working together to manage change for the benefit of local people*”

* “local people” refers to everyone living in the eleven parishes named below that made up the old Haltwhistle Rural District.

  • Bardon Mill
  • Coanwood
  • Featherstone
  • Greenhead
  • Haltwhistle
  • Hartleyburn
  • Henshaw
  • Knarsdale with Kirkhaugh
  • Melkridge
  • Plenmeller with Whitfield
  • Thirlwall

What are the Haltwhistle Partnership's Objectives?

We have 4 main objectives which cover our 4 key areas:


Objective: To combine environmental quality with economic and social progress whilst at the same time promoting improvements in the standards of environmental care which contribute to enhanced quality of life and personal well-being.


Objective - To seek to have a confident buoyant economy encouraging diversity of employment.


Objective - To increase the strength and effectiveness of community life and improving local conditions, especially for people in disadvantaged situations, thereby enabling people to participate in public decision-making and to achieve greater long-term control over their circumstances.


Objective - Local people have access to a fully integrated, safe, reliable and affordable transport system which recognises the need to cater for all modes of transport. To strengthen digital connectivity, by advocating for fast broadband and mobile networks and broader communications, ensuring no-one is left isolated.

What is the structure of the Haltwhistle Partnership?

The main parts to the Haltwhistle Partnership are:

  1. Board of Trustees 
  2. Management Committee
  3. Working Groups
  4. Membership
  5. Staff

Board of Trustees

This is the decision making board of the Partnership. They are held responsible for the actions of the Partnership. The Board is responsible for setting strategy and direction for the Partnership. It oversees financial and staffing matters, setting budgets and monitoring expenditure. It oversees the refurbishment, maintenance and letting of the Partnership's property and actively scrutinises the work of the Partnership. 

Management Committee

This Committee leads on the development and delivery aspects of the Haltwhistle Partnership work in terms of community projects and any other community focussed work that falls within the remit of the Partnership. It comprises trustees and members of the wider community, including representatives of other organisations. It also includes representatives from each of the Working Groups.

Working Groups

The Partnership has established a number of working groups to become "the engine rooms of the partnership" and enable the full range of the Partnerships work to be undertaken based on area of activity. These Working Groups take responsibility for developing projects identified within the Action Plan. Each working group brings together key players, agencies and local people. Below are examples of some of the working groups currently working.

  • Renewables/Sustainability
  • Community Projects - including Community Gardeners, Haltwhistle Growing Together, Zigzag, Older People's Project,Memory Cafe, Station Adopters
  • Community Shops
  • Karbon Community Fund for Haltwhistle


Our Memorandum and Articles of association for being a company limited by guarantee make provision for a membership of the Haltwhistle Partnership. This group plays a very important “critical friend” role. They meet once a year at the AGM to look at the progress and future plans and to have an involvement and input into the work that is going on. Membership does not cost anything unless the partnership is declared bankrupt in which case a member is liable to pay the maximum price of £10. If you are interested in becoming a member then please contact the office on (01434) 321242.


The Partnership currently has 3 part-time members of staff, an Administrator, an Older People's Project Officer and a cleaner.

Does the Haltwhistle Partnership have a formal constitution?

Our formal constitution is the Memorandum and Articles of Association mentioned above. The stated objectives within these documents are the standard charitable objectives which enable us to register as a charity as well as company limited by guarantee. This structure gives trustees a greater level of protection as the company is a legal entity, so they cannot be held liable as individuals.

Does the Haltwhistle Partnership have a strategy and a plan of action?


The vision, objectives and values of the Partnership are to be found in our Action Plan which is a dynamic document which is monitored and updated regularly. It is fully reviewed and new targets set when much of the plan has been achieved. The latest major review took place in the spring of 2019 and a further review is currently underway.

This plan identifies a range of actions and targets aimed at improving the quality of life for both today and tomorrow's generations by promoting an appropriate balance between economic, social and environmental well-being. Copies of the current plan are available on request.

How does the Haltwhistle Partnership decide its priorities?

Our priorities are based on evidence of local need. This comes from consultation and involvement of local people, examining local, district, county, regional and national plans and trends and input from a variety of organizations and agencies that have a remit for this area. These are brought together in the Action Plan for a Sustainable Community for endorsement by all parties.

Does the Haltwhistle Partnership have dedicated resources?


There is no guaranteed long term funding. We have to find the funding to sustain the Haltwhistle Partnership and the activities we want to carry out. Currently this comes from a cocktail of funders including Northumberland County Council and Haltwhistle Town Council.

We also generate income towards our core costs through the rental of the Partnership's retail, office and residential property and services such as photocopying and faxing. In the interests of becoming more secure and sustainable this is an area which is being expanded.

What has the Partnership achieved?

Most recent achievements include:

The setting up and running of two community shops in Haltwhistle which opened in April 2023.

Setting up a Memory Cafe. 

Being awarded the Queen's Award for Voluntary Service in 2022.

Managing the Karbon Homes Community Fund for Haltwhsitle.

Setting up Haltwhistle Growing Together, the Community Allotment project in the garden at Hillside.

Supporting South Tyne Sustainability (STS) with its plastic recycling project with the Berry factory.

Driving a renewables initiative looking at obtaining heat from mine workings and Community PV installations.

Supporting Tyne Valley Community Rail Partnership Projects (TVCRP) at Hatlwhistle Station, including running the Station Adoption Group.

Supporting Haltwhsitle Chamber of Trade initiatives.

Supporting and the continuation of the very successful Older People's, Community Gardeners and Zigzag projects.

The ownership and management of 5 residential and 3 commercial properties.

The redesign and refurbishment of the 5th flat at Hardware House.

Facilitating the Youth Club Young and Sweet to move from the Water Tower to Hillside, a much larger and suitable premises for their activities and now facilitiating an assett transfer of the freehold of the property.

The refurbishment of 4 flats at Hardware House.

The refurbishement of the retail unit at Hardware House.

Previous key achievements:

  • Supporting Haltwhistle in Bloom 2019 via our Community gardeners
  • Successful in becoming part of national market Towns Initiative
  • Successfully bid for a Neighborhood Nursery for the area
  • Successfully bid for a Sure Start Programme for the area
  • Improvements to the Town Approaches
  • Improvements to 10 shop fronts on the high street
  • Established Haltwhistle as a Walking centre through the publication of the “Haltwhistle Rings” and running two annual walking festivals
  • Established The Squeak Newsletter
  • Established websites for the area
  • Established Westbourne House as a One Stop Information Shop for the town. One of 14 recognised by the Countryside Agency as an example of good practice. We deal with an average of 65 people a week.
  • Delivered a range of learning opportunities to over 1000 people
  • Established a lunch club and Older People’s Forum for senior residents in the area.
  • Aided the refurbishment of the Haltwhistle Tyne Bridge in partnership with Northumberland County Council.
  • Increased volunteering opportunities for the area in partnership with Volunteering Tynedale
  • Established support for unemployed people in Partnership with Job Centre Plus.
  • Established a range of confidential surgery sessions with agencies which include Police, ESCAPE (help for families and young people affected by drug and alcohol misuse), Victim Support, Youth Offending team and Travis Marston Solicitors.
  • Produced Haltwhistle Historic Parishes – a comprehensive visitor’s guide to the area.
  • Run a number of events to promote the town and surrounding area and to promote civic pride. Examples include Meet the Ancestors at Featherstone Castle 2002 & 3, Haltwhistle Pride 2004.
  • Carried out a comprehensive assessment of work to be carried out on Haltwhistle Burn.
  • Established a community garden.

These activities have brought investment of over 2 million in this area, resulted in (at various times) 4 full time jobs and 20 part time jobs, introduced 12 new services and generally improved the environment of the town and surrounding area.